Solar-powered, sand-sifting robot aims to keep Florida beaches clean
Meet BeBot – the beach-cleaning robot that sifts through the sand to remove things like cigarette butts, pieces of plastic and other trash people leave behind when they head home from a day of fun in the sun.
COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Thousands of people flock to Florida beaches every year, and just like any big tourist hotspot, the beaches can be challenging to maintain. But efforts to help keep beaches in the Sunshine State beautiful have taken a high-tech turn with the introduction of a solar-powered robot.
Meet BeBot – the beach-cleaning robot that sifts through the sand to remove things like cigarette butts, pieces of plastic and other trash people leave behind when they head home after a day of fun in the sun.
Bryan Bobbit, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Keep Brevard Beautiful, joined FOX Weather from Cocoa Beach, Florida, to explain how BeBot gets to work to clean up local beaches.
"This robot was provided by license plate funding from the Surfing Evolution Preservation Foundation," he said. "We'll actually dig about three inches down into the soil and sift all the microplastics out."
So, the next time you head to the beach but don't see any litter on the surface of the sand, it's there.
"When you look around at a beach and see nice, beautiful, clean sand, there's actually all this type of litter that's actually down below the surface, and that's what it does. It gets down under there and gets it out for us."
BEACHGOERS BEWARE: THESE ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS BEACHES IN AMERICA
Bobbit said BeBot was developed in Paris about a year and a half ago and reached out to Keep Brevard Beautiful to see if the organization was interested in the robot.
When they received the robot about a year ago, it was the first of its kind, but now the robot is used elsewhere for a variety of purposes.
BeBot is electric, works on power collected from solar panels and doesn't produce any nautical or greenhouse gasses that harm the environment.
BeBot has collected more than 145 tons of garbage in one year alone along the Brevard County coastline.
But the cleanup efforts aren't limited to only Brevard County.
"Well, actually BeBot is provided to us from Keep Florida Beautiful, so this robot right here will actually make a tour around the state about once a year," Bobbit said. "It's already done presentations in Clear Lake Beach, Panama City, Jacksonville and other cities all throughout Florida."